Singapore & New York, United States:
BigSpring, a mobile lifelong skilling platform, today announced the appointments of former CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Frits van Paasschen, and former Group Executive of Rio Tinto plc, Hugo Bague, as advisors. Their appointment comes as the impact of COVID-19 has mandated that organizations, large and small, retrain employees quickly and on the spot - something only BigSpring does, with measurable ROI. Uber, Google, United Technologies and Tata Steel are just some of the global organizations deploying BigSpring, bringing the total number of workers being trained to more than a half-million.
"BigSpring's mission, to provide a direct path to employment for everyone, couldn't be more relevant in today's context, first with the already widening gap in workforce preparedness given automation and AI, and now with the staggering job displacements COVID-19 has caused,” said Bhakti Vithalani, Founder and CEO of BigSpring. “Frits brings vast global experience in hospitality and retail, today's most vulnerable sectors; Hugo has helped drive large upskilling programs to navigate through automation. Their experience will ensure BigSpring continues to confront and solve today's largest challenges in reskilling and upskilling.”
"I am delighted to be advising BigSpring, as the company is bringing a novel approach to a global need,” said van Paasschen. “Today more than ever, people want the chance to learn and improve their skills on the job in order to stay relevant and to grow. BigSpring is exploring the frontier of developing human potential.”
Van Paasschen has been President and CEO of both Starwood Hotels & Resorts worldwide and the Coors Brewing Company. He held numerous executive roles at Nike, ultimately becoming President of Europe, Middle East, and Africa. Before that, van Paasschen was a Vice President, Finance at The Walt Disney Company, having begun his career in consulting at The Boston Consulting Group and McKinsey & Company. He serves on the boards of Royal DSM and William Sonoma and previously was a director on the boards of Oakley, Jones Apparel, and Barclays. Van Paasschen is an investor and board member of three hyper-growth unicorns, Sonder, citizenM Hotels, and Convene (Chair). He is a frequent keynote speaker and Amazon best-selling author of The Disruptors' Feast.
"The ability to learn and grow has never been more important than today, as an individual, as a company, and as a country,” said Bague. “I am proud to join BigSpring, offering a platform that is a true game-changer in tackling the continuous right-skilling challenge."
Bague is a seasoned global executive with experience in metals and mining, technology, advanced manufacturing and pharmaceuticals. From 2007-2017, he was the Group Executive Organisational Resources for Rio Tinto plc, a leading international metals and mining group. Bague was previously Vice President of Human Resources for the Technology Solution Group of Hewlett Packard Corporation. He also worked for Compaq Computer, Nortel Networks, and Abbott Laboratories. Bague is an external advisor to McKinsey & Company, and also a Non-Executive Director with Jones Lang Lasalle, where he chairs the Compensation Committee.
BigSpring was recently designated a "Technology Pioneer" in 2020 by the World Economic Forum, joining a select cohort of start-ups that are developing cutting-edge technologies and contributing greatly to improving the well-being of society and economic growth. Past recipients include Airbnb, Google, Palantir Technologies, Spotify, TransferWise and Twitter.
BigSpring is solving the global skilling crisis by aligning the needs of employers and workers. Its mobile lifelong skilling platform equips people with market-relevant skills they need to be gainfully employed and enables employers to measure ROI from learning to establish it as a core business driver - not a discretionary expense. The platform offers lifelong skilling for every worker and every job, with use cases including enhancing consumer financial literacy and driving sales channel productivity. BigSpring's reach extends globally across half a million learners with customers such as Uber, Google, United Technologies, Tata Steel, and others. For more information visit https://bigspring.io.
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